On 11 October, in the framework of the Pancyprian Congress of SEGDAMELIN – PEO, an international meeting on “The national and international trade unions’ action in safeguarding of the workers’ rights” was held. The General Secretary of the WFTU, Pambis Kyritsis, attended the meeting, delivering the following intervention:
Before going on with my intervention, I feel the necessity to express once again our anxiety and concern about the new bloodshed that is unfolding in Israel and Palestine and threatens to ignite the entire Middle East region.
For the class-oriented trade union movement, is clear that the root cause of this blood cycle is the ongoing occupation by Israel and the continuous, daily crimes that have been committed against the Palestinian people for years.
It is clear that the only way to secure and consolidate peace and security is to immediately end the Israeli occupation and settlement in the occupied Arab territories, as provided for in the UN resolutions, and to establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
It is obvious that under the well-known pretext of counter-terrorism Israel and its allies continue and intensify the imperialist crime in the same direction.
The WFTU continues to stand consistently and principled beside the suffering and struggling Palestinia people!
As a first global reaction and action in solidarity the WFTU calls class-oriented and militant trade unions around the world to organise in the coming days, actions, protests and demonstrations around the world under the slogan:
- SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
- NO TO IMPERIALIST HYPOCRISY
- A JUST AND PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO THE PALESTINIAN CAUSE
On behalf of the World Federation of Trade Unions, of the 105 million members in the 5 continents, I convey to all of you militant greetings. I also convey the congratulations for the SEGDAMELIN – PEO for organizing and hosting this seminar and I wish full success to its tomorrow Conference.
There is no doubt that discussing regarding the “national and international trade unions’ action in defending of the workers’ rights”, can be useful and timelier for all of us.
The 18th World Federation of Trade Unions’ Congress took place in Rome on May 2022 in a spirit of unity and collectivity, reaffirming the anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-fascist character of the WFTU and its commitment to the principles and values of class struggle, solidarity and internationalism; commitment to defending the autonomous, democratic functioning of Trade Unions, away from Bureaucracy, careerism and corruption.
Nowadays, the global capitalist crisis is deepening even more, inflation is mercilessly undermining the living standards of working people, democratic and trade union freedoms are being threatened, labour and social rights are under severe attack by capital and its representatives, unfortunately with the tolerance and even the active cooperation of the collaborationist and “yellow” trade unions.
The COVID period has been also exploited for even tougher measures that shrink the right to organize, to demand, and to protest collectively.
In the face of this attacks, workers are not indifferent. They are resisting and reacting.
We are watching the development of militant reaction in all regions of the earth by workers who refuse to pay the bill of the capitalist crisis, and choose the path of struggle, in defense of their trade union, social and political rights. The class-oriented unions are in the forefront of these struggles.
It is not accidental that in addition to countries that have a “tradition”, let’s say, of street militancy, we are witnessing a strong wave of mobilisations in other corners of the world. Even today, as we speak, over 300,000 striking workers in the automotive industries and healthcare workers are on the streets of the United States.
As WFTU, our main axis of action, is rooted in the timeless principles of workers’ rights, and the relentless pursuit of the building of a better world, free of exploitation and any oppression.
At the heart of our efforts, since the foundation of the WFTU, lies the unwavering commitment to safeguarding the rights of the working class. We struggle for the defense of the democratic and trade union freedoms, the collective bargaining and the stable, permanent, and agreements-regulated labor. A few days ago, on the occasion of the International Action Day of WFTU, we celebrated our 78th anniversary with a campaign with massive participation from every corner of the world, with the slogan: “No to authoritarianism and to the shrink of democratic and trade union freedoms! Work with Rights! No to the “flexibilities” and to exploitation!”
Furthermore, we keep the anti-imperialist character of the WFTU, and actively express our solidarity to the people in need. Walk hand in hand with those fighting against imperialist wars and interruptions for national liberation and the right to follow their own path!
Trade Union Education is one main axes that the WFTU relies its actions too. We believe in equipping the Trade Unionist with the knowledge and skills they need to advocate effectively for the workers rights.
Gender equality, environmental sustainability, and equinity had always been core principles that motivate and guide actions and struggles.
Important issue us a global organisation is intervention to the International Organizations and Institutions. We have a clear knowledge, that International Organizations today, are functioning in a way that not serves the interests of the working people and most of them are under the influence of imperialism. Despite the objective difficulties and the deprivation of the right to participate and vote in the Governing Body of the ILO even though we represent 105 workers, do not stop for fighting inside these foundation for a different presentation which will promote the interests of the working people.
It is clear that only through the organised, mass and class struggles can working people challenge the system that gives birth to imperialism and to exploitation.
The weapon of the working class is Solidarity and Internationalism.
We know very well the reality of today’s world, we know very well that the balance of power at this moment is not as we would like it to be and the difficulties for the workers’ movement are so many. We do not have illusions! The attack to the working class achievements and rights is very hard and it is global-wide. The monopolies and multinational giants, while fiercely competing for control of markets and raw materials, at the same time, they are cooperating on the attack against labor and social rights. But for the WFTU, for the class-oriented International Trade Union movement, for the workers who resist, who do not compromise with oppression, discrimination and exploitation, there is only one path of dignity: the path of the struggles.